In the 1970’s, Rolex made a series of colored dials with a multi-layered lacquer coat. Referred to as Stella dials, they can give the impression of porcelain and there is a certain translucency about them. There are many attractive Stellas coming up for sale in the Christie’s May 13th watches auction. See a few of the lots below, along with a quick history of the coveted dials.
Rolex didn’t actually call these Stella dials. Coming from the Latin word “stella”, which means star, it was a name bestowed by collectors because they glisten in the light, giving the impression of shining stars. They are also sometimes called “Stellina” dials, the Italian word for little star.
At the time Rolex produced these colored lacquer dials, they weren’t very popular and perhaps why that’s there was such a short run. And what does a short run mean? Rarity, which is one of the 4 Q’s we talk about when collecting watches.
In the last few years, collectors have revisited the Stella dials, finding them quite beautiful and appealing—not to mention different. You aren’t going to see every wrist sporting one. Because of the demand, prices have risen but not to such extravagant heights like a Rolex Ref. 6235 “Jean-Claude Killy” so they are still affordable. You really must see one in person to appreciate their beauty and allure.